Dr Peter Lovatt at the University's School of Psychology, is conducting a study that will look at the types of dance that may alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, which will start next month (June) and needs volunteers.
The study is the first UK study to look at the effects on both physical and psychological responses to dance for people with Parkinson’s. View an interview with Dr Lovatt about the study on You Tube today.
This study will take place in both London and Manchester from early June and needs 15 people who have Parkinson's in each location and 15 who do not have the disease and are willing to act as a control group.
Dr Lovatt and his team will draw on the published research evidence that claims dance can help people with Parkinson's. Participants will do 10 dance classes over six weeks and the research team will measure progress at the beginning and end of the study.
According to Dr Lovatt, existing research indicates that when people dance, their balance and the way they walk improves. In addition early research from the University’s Dance Psychology Lab suggests that dancing can influence the way people think. The challenge now is to find out what kind of dance may help people with Parkinson's.
"We have always known that dance has a positive impact on people's health," said Dr Lovatt. "Dance may be a fun way for people with Parkinson’s to exercise and this study will look at whether this brings physical and psychological benefits.”